Support Team APAC

Support Team APAC home page

Welcome to Support Team APAC’s Handbook page

This page documents items specific to Support Team APAC which we have not yet found a home for in the wider Support Team Handbook.

The intent is to enable APAC Support team members to contribute to Results for APAC-specific iniatitives, policies, processes and workflows by prioritizing:

  1. Transparency, through being handbook first and providing a single source of truth for APAC-specific.
  2. Iteration, through providing a safe space where APAC Support team members can introduce or update APAC-specific policies, workflows and processes without creating confusion and uncertainty for the wider Support Team.

Where appropriate, we should always look to move content from this page into other pages of the wider Support Team Handbook. For an example of how this can be done, see the Considerations in APAC section of the GitLab Support On-Call Guide Handbook page.

General policies

Support Team APAC is One Team

  • APAC Support Readiness department members are part of Support Team APAC too.
  • Avoid calling individual manager’s direct reports group “my team” or “your team”.

Support engineers should be able to work across all GitLab product platforms

  • Support engineers should be willing and able to work on problems for all platforms supported by GitLab: SaaS, Dedicated and Self-Managed.

Support engineers should spend time on work other than L&R work

  • ???

Working principles

Working principles are behaviors that empower team members to carry out the work of Support Engineering in alignment with the needs of our customers and our business. They help illustrate what applying GitLab’s core values and operating principles to Support work looks like.

These working principles are complementary to and should be subordinate to GitLab’s core values and operating principles. In case of a conflict between the two, please create an MR to propose a change to or removal of the working principles.

Solve tickets faster

Solving tickets faster can lead to better customer outcomes, and frees up time for Support team members to do what the team needs or what they want, such as new tickets, training or code contributions. These questions might help you apply this operating principle:

  • Is what I’m currently doing helping me to solve this ticket faster?
  • If we stop or remove a process, will it help us to solve tickets faster?
  • Will my ideas and efforts lead us to solve tickets faster as a team?

As we learn more about this operating principle, please leave any thoughts or feedback in the discussion issue.

Operating metrics and measurements

Cliff of definite underperformance

A support engineer is definitively underperforming when they handle less than 7 tickets in any of 3 of the past 4 weeks.

A support engineer is considered to have handled a ticket when they leave either a public or internal comment on a ticket.


To set clear expectations of when a support engineer’s ticket productivity is so low that they are no longer performing the basic responsibilities of the role.


Support engineer productivity should be checked against the measurement on a weekly cadence.

The measurement itself should be updated on a quarterly cadence, at the start of each financial quarter.

Historical & current data

The following shows:

  • the number for the Cliff of Definite Underperformance (CoDU) as observed for the 12 month period concluding prior to the listed quarter.
  • a link to the notification issue when the number was reviewed for that period.
Quarter CoDU Number Notification Issue
FY24-Q3 (Current) 7 STM#5494
FY24-Q2 7 Nil - practice started in FY24-Q3
FY24-Q1 6
FY23-Q4 5
FY23-Q3 5
FY23-Q2 5
FY23-Q1 5
Design considerations

The following considerations were made while designing this measurement:

  • It should include both direct contributions and collaborative work on tickets.
  • It should be easy to remember and keep track of.
  • It should be naturally achieved in the normal course of work and not require special effort or focus.
Getting the measurement

Use the following instructions to set up a Zendesk Explore report which you can use to get the Cliff of Definite Underperformance number at the start of a new financial quarter.

Building the Zendesk Explore report

Create a Zendesk Explore report using the Support - Updates History dataset. Use the following settings:

  1. Metrics:
    • D_COUNT(Tickets updated)
    • D_COUNT(Tickets updated w/comment)
  2. Rows:
    • Updater name
    • Updater region (optional, used to verify that data from outside of APAC is not present)
    • Update - Year
    • Update - Week of Year
  3. Filters:
    • Ticket form - Excluded:
      • L&R (This is excluded because weekly L&R productivity numbers can get very high. Setting a standard derived from this number is unfair to support engineers who do not regularly do L&R.)
    • Updater tags - Selected:
      • jane_gianoutsos
      • ket_slaats
      • wei-meng_lee
    • Comment type - Selected:
      • Internal
      • Public
  4. Visualization type: Table
  5. Result manipulation
    • Result path calculation - D_COUNT(Tickets updated)
      • Pattern: Percentile
      • Path: On rows

Getting the measurement from the Zendesk Explore report

In the Zendesk Explore report:

  1. Update the date range filter:
    1. Click on Update - Week of Year.
    2. Click on “Edit date ranges”.
    3. Under the “Date range” pane, click on the “Simple” tab.
    4. Select the “Custom” radio button.
    5. Select “month” in the “Details level” select dropdown.
    6. Select the previous 12-month period ending at the last FY quarter.
    7. Click on “Apply”.
  2. Sort the Tickets updated column.
  3. Look for the first entry above 15%.
  4. The cliff number will be the value of Ticket updated w/comment in that row.
Monitoring the measurement

Use the following Zendesk Explore report to provide reporting of how individual support engineers’ productivity matches up against the Cliff of Definite Underperformance.

Building the Zendesk Explore report

Create a Zendesk Explore report using the Support - Updates History dataset. Use the following settings:

  1. Metrics:
    • D_COUNT(Tickets updated)
  2. Columns:
    • Update - Year
    • Update - Week of year
      • Filter > Edit date ranges > Advanced:
        • From the beginning of: 4 weeks in the past.
        • To the end of: 1 weeks in the past.
  3. Rows:
    • Updater tags
      • Filter - Selected:
        • jane_gianoutsos
        • ket_slaats
        • wei-meng_lee
    • Updater name
  4. Filters:
    • Comment type - Selected:
      • Internal
      • Public
  5. Visualization type: Table
  6. Chart configuration > Display format:
    • D_COUNT(Tickets updated) > Advanced:

      IF (D_COUNT(Tickets updated) >= 7) THEN
          "backgroundColor": "",
          "precision": 0,
          "scale": 1,
          "prefix": "",
          "decimalSeparator": ".",
          "italic": FALSE,
          "bold": FALSE,
          "suffix": "",
          "fontColor": "",
          "thousandsSeparator": " "
      ELIF (IS_NAN(D_COUNT(Tickets updated))) THEN
          "backgroundColor": ""
          "backgroundColor": "#ffcccb"
Documenting the measurement

When a review of the measurement is carried out:

  • Create an MR to:

    • Update the number in the first paragraph of the Cliff of Definite Underperformance section if the number has changed.
    • Add a new row to the top of the Historical & Current Data table for the current quarter’s number. Also move the reference to (Current) data to this row.
  • Create a notification issue in Support Team Meta to record that the number has been reviewed and if it has changed. (Copy a previous notification issue to use as a template).

  • Add a link to the notification issue to the relevant column in the Historical and Current data table.

Daily Bot in the #support_licensing-subscription slack channel

There is a daily bot that follows the SGG bot format and tags all APAC Support engineers who have a Focus name: License and Renewals listed in their Support Team Page entry.

Example Support Team Bot post:

Support Team Bot Morning APAC @name1 @name2 @name3 @name4 @name5 @name6 @name7. Today we have: 7 working, 1 on PTO:

The following people have scheduled PTO: ** Wednesday: @name8*

Support engineers update this post’s thread daily to share with each other when they are covering the queue, so that team members are confident that there are eyes on the queue when they complete their scheduled time to action these tickets. There is no strict roster, team members opt-in and share their availability to achieve coverage.

Holiday Coverage Planning

We are mindful of holidays that impact large parts of the team. The following are official holidays for mostly APAC team members, which we plan coverage for outside of global practices:

Holiday Date Countries Notes
- Australia Day
- India Republic Day
26th January Australia, India Full region impact as this impacts both our Group 1 and Group 2 on-call coverage.
Easter Friday Movable Australia, NZ, Philippines
Easter Monday Movable Australia, NZ, Philippines
ANZAC Day 25th April Australia, NZ Let AMER know in time for the Friday prior due to no coverage for first 2-5 hours of business hours on a Monday.
Monarch’s Birthday 1st Monday in June NZ Let AMER know in time for the Friday prior due to no coverage for first 2 hours of business hours on a Monday.
Monarch’s Birthday 2nd Monday in June Australia (except QLD)
Independence Day 12th June Philippines Be aware that this can coincide with Australia’s observation of Monarch’s Birthday when June 12 is a Monday.

To refer to past planning issues, see issues linked to the [APAC] Holiday Coverage Planning Issues epic.

Regular Sync Sessions

Weekly Bi-Weekly/Fortnightly Monthly/Irregular
  • APAC Crush
  • EMEA/APAC Crush
  • Support Team Call
  • L&R Meeting
  • Anton Sm's Office Hours
  • Julian's Kubernetes Help Sessions
  • APAC/AMER Crush
  • Release Review Party
  • APAC Office Hours
  • Social Call
  • APAC Book Club - [Tribal Leadership](
    weekly between 2023-02-16 to 2023-04-06
  • ???